One of the first things you’re told to do as a new parent is wean yourself from the baby.
Doctors have preached for ages that prolonged physical contact makes children unable to cope with stress and have a total lack of independence down the road, but Wendy Wisner is convinced that is just not the case. She is a mother to two boys, ages 4 and 9, and still lays down next to her boys every night before they go to sleep.
Her perspective on parenting is altogether eye opening. Check it out in the annotated post she wrote below!
I’ve spent approximately 7 billion hours of my life lying in the dark next to a fidgety, sleepless child, praying to the gods that my child will finally go… to sleep.
When the going gets tough, I’ve been known to hide under the blanket with my phone on the dimmest setting, scrolling through Facebook and hoping against hope that my half-asleep child doesn’t notice what I’m doing and call me out on screen time after lights out.
Other nights, it’s not quite that miserable. Actually, sometimes it’s downright beautiful.
Wendy goes on to describe the bliss that comes watching her kids drift off to sleep after a hard day. Though parenting is a relentless task, it’s all worth it in the end. It is such a wonderful opportunity to bond with your kids
I’d heard all the arguments about why lying down with your kids until they fall asleep is a bad habit. It’s kind of the No. 1 habit you’re supposed to break when your kids are babies.
Except, what if you just never do that? What if you rock or nurse your baby every night? Then, as they get older, what if it evolves into holding hands or patting their back until they’re out?
And then, even after they’ve outgrown all that, what if they ask that you to just lie there, soothing them with your presence until they’re fast asleep?
Many parents worry that if they coddle their children, they will be unable to deal with the normal pressure of life. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Numerous studies have shown that the more attached kids are, the more secure and independent they actually become. It makes sense if you think about it: Giving kids security makes them feel confident and able to function with ease in the world.
Wendy doesn’t believe that every family should lie down with their kids… but still holds that for her and her kids it has made all the difference. Her reasons for going against the norm are downright beautiful to read.
I lie down with my kids because they want me to, because it is something we’ve always done, and because even though I often begrudge those extra 10 to 20 minutes of waiting, it’s really only a handful of minutes in my day, but they mean the world to my kids.
I lie down with them because between school, work, meals, homework, and other commitments, it’s rare for us to have moments of silence and closeness as lovely and deep as the ones just before sleep.
I lie down with them because, [dangit], even I don’t like falling asleep alone. If my husband is out or away, it takes me forever to fall asleep, and I’m 38 years old. I feel like, at just 4 and 9, my kids are allowed to have that extra security that even grown-ups crave.
I lie down with them because there have been plenty of nights in the past few years that my older child did not need me there at all — times that he literally shoved me out of his room so he could fall asleep on his own. But I lie down with him the nights that he is stressed, restless, or just needs me and doesn’t know why.
I lie down with him then because I know that the days of him needing me that much are numbered.
As every mother knows, the days of kids being kids are always numbered. So while she still can, Wendy chooses to lay with her kids whenever they need her… cause she never knows when they won’t need her anymore.
But I also know that these minutes that my kids drift off in the safety of my arms or my presence are exactly the ones that hold the most weight for my kids — and for me. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Share her beautiful perspective today.